Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
148 registered (Achilleas, accordeur, anamnesis, 29 invisible), 1840 Guests and 32 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#2038971 - 02/25/13 11:40 AM how to tell a high or low note from another note?
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
so if i hear 2 different notes in a piece of music in succesion sometimes i have trouble hearing which one is higher or lower (unless it is obvious). how can i overcome this difficulty?
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


Top
(ads P/S)

Sauter Pianos

#2038977 - 02/25/13 11:52 AM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
Andy Platt Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2419
Loc: Virginia, USA
Hmm, "obvious". Well, what does that mean. For me, for pure melody, it's obvious for all notes. But if it's part of a dense harmony and I'm trying to pick it out, perhaps I'll struggle.

So, that leads to whether this is a learning issue - whether you need to spend time just listening to notes and hearing the difference, or whether you have some physical hearing issues that need to be addressed.

There are many online interval training sites; I would google those and try them out.
_________________________
  • Liszt - Liebesträume No. 3, S541
  • Schumann - Ende vom Lied, Opus 12.8
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

Top
#2038981 - 02/25/13 12:00 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
what i am getting at is, if i hear a peice of music, i want to be able to play the melody on the keyboard, or at least get the gist of it, cause right now all i can do it fumble with the keys to make a vague and error prone represation of what i hear.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


Top
#2038996 - 02/25/13 12:28 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11804
Loc: Canada
Apparently it is common for many people in the beginning to not be able to hear these things, and it needs to be developed.

I think you'd start with being able to hear that two notes are different or the same, maybe with huge differences like C and G or A above it, rather than C and C#. Then you might explore hearing qualities of high and low. For example, if I play a note way down on the keyboard, it is dark, growly, thick. Way up high, it is squeaky, glassy, smooth, thin. So you might have someone play two very distant notes. If note 1 is squeakier, and note 2 is growlier, then you know intellectually that 1 is higher than 2. After a while you build an association.

You might mix and match. Sometimes you deliberately produce higher and lower sounds, and listen to how you hear that. Other times you have higher and lower sounds be produced by someone else. (Are there any programs out there that give that kind of exercise?)

Do you sing at all? Can you hum a tune? I wonder if you could hum a simple tune, then find the first sound on the piano, then the second sound, so that you end up playing one line of melody? And then extend that to what you actually want to do, which is to take music you hear, and reproduce it on the piano (not the easiest thing).

Are you into reading notation at all?

Top
#2039053 - 02/25/13 02:16 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1087
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: adak
what i am getting at is, if i hear a peice of music, i want to be able to play the melody on the keyboard, or at least get the gist of it, cause right now all i can do it fumble with the keys to make a vague and error prone represation of what i hear.


For the average beginner that goal will take significant time and training. There are ear training courses and lessons. Yes, there are a few folks with natural aptitude, that can do it relatively quickly. However, at the opposite extreme, there are people that will struggle mightily with ear training. Most beginners are in the average group and will make progress with some training, time and effort.
_________________________
my piano uploads

Top
#2039058 - 02/25/13 02:31 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
If you're planning on taking any of the RCM courses as you're in Canada, you'll need to distinguish between notes to pass the exam grades. Keep playing and learning and it comes. As Sand Tiger says there are training courses and lessons available and you can get them from Tom Lee or Long & McQuade if they are close to you.


Edited by ju5t1n-h (02/25/13 02:31 PM)
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


Top
#2039061 - 02/25/13 02:37 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
There are many self-tuitoring resources available. Google "piano sight reading and ear training" and you'll find a lot of materials to help in this area.

My personal method is a book series, and I do the prescribed exercises seriously everyday, taking a few minutes. It slowly builds the skills needed. You'll find that over time, you will be able to sing a major and minor second, third, forth, fifth, sixth, above and below any given pitch. It takes work, but this definitely train you to hear far more than "normal" people.

On top of that, of course, these books also train you in sight reading and rhythm, so you get a bonus on top of hearing better. An extra bonus is that it improves your ability to play by ear drastically, and it also improves your ability to play from memory. I think this is important foundation stuff that many adult beginners often ignore.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

Top
#2039268 - 02/25/13 08:13 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: adak
what i am getting at is, if i hear a peice of music, i want to be able to play the melody on the keyboard, or at least get the gist of it, cause right now all i can do it fumble with the keys to make a vague and error prone represation of what i hear.


Your ear will improve over time and while you might not come to be able to develop perfect pitch (the ability to hear every pitch well enough to reproduce it/them flawlessly on your instrument without knowing any note names), any musician can develop good relative-pitch (as an adult, it took me a good year) so that within a few tries, you can play back what you just heard (speaking, of course, of simple melodies).


Edited by Bobpickle (02/25/13 08:14 PM)

Top
#2039340 - 02/25/13 11:04 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1228
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: adak
what i am getting at is, if i hear a peice of music, i want to be able to play the melody on the keyboard, or at least get the gist of it, cause right now all i can do it fumble with the keys to make a vague and error prone represation of what i hear.
Well, then you're hearing that you're doing it wrong. So it seems maybe you can hear the difference. Perhaps it's a problem of not being able to pick out the right keys that correspond to the notes that you want to hear?
_________________________
Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
XVI-XXXVI

Top
#2039424 - 02/26/13 04:15 AM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: MaryBee]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: MaryBee
Well, then you're hearing that you're doing it wrong. So it seems maybe you can hear the difference.


Good morning. Excellent observation!

What you are affronting, adak, is normal, and I would suggest taking it as a true constatation of your musical level more than as a hurdle to overcome through training. Have a laugh at yourself, like you surely would if your kid came home from school and asked you to explain what a predicative adjective is; you may use them everyday but heck if you can put your finger on what it is ... still, with that you'd have the advantage of speaking and writing everyday whereas with music, well, have you been making music everyday for the last decades?

Top
#2039679 - 02/26/13 02:58 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 989
When you hear a note and play a wrong note, don't just keep stabbing at notes until you find it. Go up or down by half-steps to find it. Over time, this will not only develop your sense of up and down, but also distances.

Another tip: as you get closer to the note without it being right, it sounds more wrong. This often leads people to believe that they are going the wrong direction. But if you keep going, the right note sort of locks in. Singers learn to listen for this, as well as guitar players as they are tuning. So if you hear a C and play an A, then a Bb, then a B, each will sound more wrong, but when you hit C, it locks. Complicated concept, hope that makes sense.
_________________________
-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music

Top
#2039737 - 02/26/13 04:40 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3604
Can you hum the first note, and then slide the hum pitch up or down till you're at the next note?
_________________________

Top
#2039746 - 02/26/13 05:00 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
I don't know what you mean. I don't sing or even know most of the note sounds on the piano.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


Top
#2039749 - 02/26/13 05:06 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11804
Loc: Canada
Have you tried what I suggested?

Top
#2040015 - 02/27/13 08:12 AM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3604
You mean that you can't hum/whistle at the same pitch as the sound that you're hearing? Omy... I thought everyone learned this as a child already when singing in school, how mistaken I am laugh I guess you will have to fill this critical gap in your education asap ;-)
_________________________

Top
#2040111 - 02/27/13 12:01 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: wouter79]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: wouter79
You mean that you can't hum/whistle at the same pitch as the sound that you're hearing? Omy... I thought everyone learned this as a child already when singing in school, how mistaken I am laugh I guess you will have to fill this critical gap in your education asap ;-)


Are you being trying sarcastic and making a joke? It is not working.

Not everybody sings or hums, of course.

If you don't have anything useful to contribute please find a better use of your time.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


Top
#2040119 - 02/27/13 12:26 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11804
Loc: Canada
Adak, have you tried any of the things I suggested? If so, what did you find?

Top
#2040172 - 02/27/13 01:47 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3604
No I'm not sarcastic. IMHO that's indeed a very serious gap for anyone doing music and I would get some basic singing lessons.
_________________________

Top
#2040200 - 02/27/13 02:29 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Yes, I tried pressing C and C#, they sound slightly different. I doubt I would recognize them if I was asked on the spot to pick out notes when someone else is pressing the keyboard.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


Top
#2040205 - 02/27/13 02:33 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11804
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: adak
Yes, I tried pressing C and C#, they sound slightly different. I doubt I would recognize them if I was asked on the spot to pick out notes when someone else is pressing the keyboard.


Hearing abilities are not static. I.e. it is not that you "have" this particular ability, like you have 20/20 vision or need glasses. They develop. So you start where you are at. Right now you can hear that two notes sound different, but you cannot tell which is higher. So start developing a sense of high and low, using all of your senses. I already gave some ideas. Give it time. After that you will be able to distinguish things that right now you can't.

Top
#2040208 - 02/27/13 02:35 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7099
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: adak
Yes, I tried pressing C and C#, they sound slightly different. I doubt I would recognize them if I was asked on the spot to pick out notes when someone else is pressing the keyboard.


Well the good news is that very few people can do that. What you need is ear training (lots of websites and apps on that).

The skill you need is called "Relative Pitch".

So starting from let's say C, you see if you can tell an interval of 1-8 (white notes only) in relation to C. And you need to learn this going up and going down.

It's just memorizing (but always in relation to some base starting note).

This is essential to learning any musical instrument. You don't have to sing it. You just have to recognize it.

So for example, play these note pairs:

C D
C E
C F
C G
C A
C B
C C (Octave up)

Memorize. Rinse. Repeat.


Edited by jazzwee (02/27/13 02:41 PM)
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

Top
#2040216 - 02/27/13 02:45 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
jazzwee, I would not say that the ability to recognize or reproduce named intervals by ear is essential to playing any musical instrument. It may be essential to playing by ear, but it is not essential to playing by reading music, or to simply memorizing music. Witness me, who am fairly weak at explicit interval exercises, but I can sing in tune, and when playing something I can tell if it sounds right or wrong.

I am not speaking against your exercise as a useful exercise for adak; I am just speaking against whether this is an essential skill for all musicians. Some of us do manage to make music while working around the lack of this skill.

[ETA: I wish I did have this skill, but I have survived musically without it for many years. Some, maybe many, things would be easier for me if I did have it, though, I don't deny that.]


Edited by PianoStudent88 (02/27/13 02:49 PM)
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2040228 - 02/27/13 03:02 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: PianoStudent88]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7099
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
... and when playing something I can tell if it sounds right or wrong.


I think this is the important element here. Apparently you have good relative pitch to accomplish this. That's really all it is. Recognizing that something is wrong.

I would just say anyone learning even sight reading would be disadvantaged greatly if they didn't know they were playing it wrong.

I witnessed my own kids do this in the early stages. They're just reading the score without paying attention to the music. We can't have a teacher next to us every time we play and then we have to spend tons of time to undo the permanent mistake embedded in our playing because we didn't know it was wrong.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

Top
#2040367 - 02/27/13 07:56 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11804
Loc: Canada
If someone cannot tell whether a note is higher or lower than another, how do you expect him to "memorize" the sound of precise interval pairs. Hearing is something that gets developed. It is something that comes into focus.

Top
#2040370 - 02/27/13 08:13 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: keystring]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Well I can hear it if it is obvious, like comparing a C2 to C3, C3 is clearly the higher one. But if a song is played like C4 C# E4 D4 etc etc, and the notes are close together on the keyboard, and the length of the key press varies, and the volume varies, then it is harder to pick out. How can I translate the sound of the notes in my head to the keys on the keyboard. Afterall there are only 12 repeated keys so the choices are not unlimited.
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


Top
#2040376 - 02/27/13 08:38 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: keystring]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7099
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: keystring
If someone cannot tell whether a note is higher or lower than another, how do you expect him to "memorize" the sound of precise interval pairs. Hearing is something that gets developed. It is something that comes into focus.


Isn't that the point? To start developing it? Maybe you're translating the word memorize to something akin to something textual.

But of course intervals can be memorized (for example in connection with a song for example).

Let's say one wants to remember the intervals from 1-5. What if you used a reference like "Row Row Row your Boat Gently Down the Stream"?

Row=1 (C)
Your=2 (D)
Boat=3 (E)
The=4 (F)
Stream=5 (G)
Merrily=8 (C octave up)

I just picked this song at the top of my head. I'm sure one can find others.

Of course the song "Do-Re-Mi" would be more obvious. But I didn't think of it when I typed above...
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

Top
#2040377 - 02/27/13 08:42 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7099
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: adak
Well I can hear it if it is obvious, like comparing a C2 to C3, C3 is clearly the higher one. But if a song is played like C4 C# E4 D4 etc etc, and the notes are close together on the keyboard, and the length of the key press varies, and the volume varies, then it is harder to pick out. How can I translate the sound of the notes in my head to the keys on the keyboard. Afterall there are only 12 repeated keys so the choices are not unlimited.


What you are experiencing here is just a speed recognition issue. I encounter this all the time when I'm transcribing music and it goes too fast. Obviously at the beginner level it is even harder. So the solution to this is "slow it down Apps". Lots on the Iphone/Ipad and software for your computer as well. When it is played very slowly, the intervals will be obvious. If you're trying to decipher what Keith Jarrett is doing in 16th notes, it requires very advanced training.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP
My Blog

Top
#2040389 - 02/27/13 09:09 PM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: jazzwee]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11804
Loc: Canada
Jazzwee, I know what you are describing. This is also not for myself. I have been doing picking out and playing or singing melodies since I was a small child. But if the OP's sense of pitch was not at all developed, which was the first impression, then you don't go straight to picking out C and then D. The distinction is too fine. But now it appears that the OP is merely trying to catch music too fast. That's another story. I took him at his word when he said he could not hear if one note was higher or lower than the next.

Top
#2040491 - 02/28/13 01:08 AM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 989
I'll mention one more thing, since I see that you are using a keyboard. I often find with singers especially that some have trouble matching the pitch of a piano. I think it's the complex harmonic sound that sometimes can confuse the ear as to what the actual main pitch is.

So what I do, and what I'd recommend, is to switch to an organ sound, which is more of a fundamental sound (it also doesn't decay, which can also help). Once I can get a student to hear notes and intervals and match an organ sound, we switch back to piano.
_________________________
-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music

Top
#2040689 - 02/28/13 10:30 AM Re: how to tell a high or low note from another note? [Re: adak]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Tried the organ sound, can't say I prefer it.

Any tips to hear the same note in different parts of the melody? I don't always want to rely on the ups and downs of the melody. Like for example, lets say you know ahead that there is a repeated note, so if for example ACDECE, from A to E is rising, the it backtracked to a certain note, this case its C, but in a song it is not always which note it backtracked to cause the melody can be a distraction.


Edited by adak (02/28/13 10:44 AM)
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!

Trade Regrets:
Barry "Bear" Arnaut

(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) Piano Music Sale - Dover Publications
Piano Music Sale
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
collard & collard
by Bob Newbie
11/25/14 03:39 PM
What's your definition of music?
by juliantoha624
11/25/14 03:21 PM
Korg SP250 internal speakers
by Kai C
11/25/14 03:12 PM
Removing scratches from black piano
by pinkfloydhomer
11/25/14 02:12 PM
Pain at the shinbone/tibia
by Johan B
11/25/14 02:04 PM
Forum Stats
77041 Members
42 Forums
159346 Topics
2340714 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission